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Sunday, December 23, 2012

With a Sad Heart...

I'm sorry for disappearing at one of my favorite baking times of the year.  My mother was very ill and passed away this last week.  I was privileged to be by her side as she crossed over and it was peaceful and loving experience.  After getting through the holidays and getting some rest...I'll be back.  I'll be ready to honor her "cooking legacy" with lots of goodies in 2013.

I snapped these photos right before packaging them up and taking them with me.  They had just dried when I got the call.  She loved seeing my cookies and I always felt warm and fuzzy when she admired them.  She enjoyed reading my blog before she lost the ability to use the computer.  I miss her sorely.  She was a great lady.

I enjoyed using "accents" for the sleigh and snowman hats
I made weeks ago from leftover royal icing.  Waste not, want not!

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, blessed with good food, family, and love.  Give your loved ones an extra hug...and write down your Mom's and your Grandma's special family recipes while they are still with you.  Having done so with my Mom will remain one of my greatest treasures!  I wrote about it in 2010 and am so thankful to have that memory.

Now, get back to baking and preparing to enjoy a blessed holiday.  I'm going to bake off some of those cookies I froze (aren't I glad I did THAT now!) and take them with me when I return back to Austin for Christmas with my children and grand-children.

Debbi Hook
The South Padre Island Flip Flop FoodieStumbleUpon

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Cookies... I've gone to the Dark Side!

Pearlized Snowflake Chocolate Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

I started prepping dough for holiday baking a few weeks ago, tucking it safely and well-wrapped in my freezer.  This week, I thawed, baked, and decorated my first batch of Christmas cookies using the new  chocolate sugar cookie recipe I found on  After rolling, cutting, and baking... I gave one a try and they were rich and dark and marvelous.

The only down side is that, even with sharp metal cookie cutters, the mini chocolate chips wreaked havoc with smooth edges.  They were also "not smooth" straight out of the oven - no problem there.  I was able to use my fondant smoother and "iron out" the dips.  Nothing to be done about the edges though.  You can see from the photos that some of the edges show the problem.  However, the flavor is so exceptionally good for a roll-and-cut cookie dough, that I think I'm not going to care.  They are "rustic"...yeah, that's the ticket.

Here's the recipe with a small tweak or two that I I renamed it.  The Espresso Powder gives it the depth of flavor...I wanted that to be in the title.
Christmas Lights
accented with Wilton Silver Color Mist Shimmering
Food Color Spray over white piped icing for the bulb's base

Chocolate Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Ann Clark

Click Here for Printable Recipe


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I used Nestle's -
must use mini chips - you can't roll it with regular
size chips)


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and both sugars until creamy.  Add egg, espresso powder and vanilla extract.  Beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until completely incorporated.  I did this 1/2 at a time to reduce the "fly up" of dry goods.

Hand mix the mini chocolate chips into the dough.

Wrap the dough, in four portions, in plastic wrap and chill until firm (I froze them and then brought them down to the refrigerator for a day before using).  I wrap in small sections to make it easier to roll.  If you have too much, it is more prone to being uneven, cracking, and getting too warm before everything is cut out and moved over.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit   Roll the well-chilled dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Ensure your rolling pin is well-floured as well.  This dough can be sticky if not well-chilled.  Using metal cookie cutters (you need the sharpness to cut through the chips) cut the dough and transfer cookies onto baking sheets lined with parchment or a Silpat.  If they stick to the counter at all, use an offset spatula dipped in flour, sliding underneath the cutout, to help you make the transfer.  Because I have a warm kitchen, I almost always pop the trays into the freezer after the cut-outs are ready, for 5 to 15 minutes, to re-chill the butter (helps prevent spreading).

Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes (mine took about 9 minutes, except the large snowflakes, which took the full 10 minutes). The surface of the cookies look dry and set when they are ready.  Remove from oven and place baking trays on cooling racks for 10 minutes or so, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

I did re-roll my scraps - and they seemed to work just fine.  I actually used the last bit of dough left to form a free-style cookie as a tasting cookie.  Since it was a new recipe, I wanted to make sure they tasted good before I spent hours decorating them!  Delicious they were!!! (Did I just sound like Yoda?)
Christmas Reindeer
Oops I forgot to pipe their black hooves!
I'll do that before I package them.

I iced all of these cookies using my regular royal icing.  I have become a huge fan of the AmeriColor Meringue Powder.  It seems to taste better than the Wilton brand...but Wilton is absolutely fine too, I have both in my cabinet.  I flavored this batch with a mix of almond extract and pure vanilla extract.  I wasn't worrying about a pure white color so I didn't use the clear vanilla (actually, I rarely do - I like the real deal).
The little lines for the cuff were
harder to pipe than I thought...and already
a couple of lines crumbled a bit.
Live and learn...I learn something from every project!

I did break one snowflake when piping and flooding.  In retrospect, I probably should have used a medium sized cutter for all cookies with this dough.  It is not as "hard" as regular sugar cookies.  These are not cookies I would feel free to bang on the table to help them smooth themselves out.  These are hold-and-shake cookies....of course, that's how I broke the snowflake, so I'll leave it to you to figure out how to smooth things along.
I outlined and flooded these with a slate blue icing.
Then I pearlized them by spraying with Wilton's Pearl Color Mist.
Piped on the detail with white 20 second+ icing and
accented with blue sugar pearls.  I am quite happy with them!

This recipe will now be a stock recipe for cookie decorating.  I feel it is so important that pretty cookies really taste good.  Otherwise, what's the point???

OK - now that I've photographed the cookies, time to package them up and put them in the freezer.  What?  You didn't know you could freeze decorated sugar cookies?  Oh yes you can...and they taste just as good as the day I put them in (I don't leave them more than a few weeks).  It would be impossible to bake and decorate without stress if I didn't have a freezing option!  I follow the instructions found at Bake at 350's blog.  Believe me, it was a game changer for me!  The only problem is that I need a bigger freezer now!  Oh well, details...just details!
Christmas Ornaments
My hands were really tired, as evidenced by
some shaky lines and slanting sections
that were intended to be straight!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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Carole's Chatter:  Food on Friday Christmas Favourites


Friday, November 30, 2012

Peanut Butter Blossoms... or as we call them, PB Kisses

My boys love Peanut Butter Blossoms...or even just plain Peanut Butter Cookies.  They often search them out before any other cookie on the platter.  We have always called them Peanut Butter Kisses in our house...had never even heard them called PB Blossoms until I started following a multitude of blogs and cooking/baking sites.

As I wrote last year, and the year before, they are a really easy last minute cookie to bake using store-bought refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough in a roll.  It's what I usually do!  This year, though, I decided to mix up some homemade dough and freeze it for later baking.  Short cuts are all good and well, but homemade is what I really like during the holidays.  This year, I'm getting in front of the insanity!

I have frozen the store-bought dough, but have never frozen the homemade dough.  I froze, and then baked off a dozen cookies so we could have a look at how they do!  They taste mahvelous dahling!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Adapted from Joy of
(Basically I just doubled her recipe because it looked closest to what I used to make years ago when I made these from scratch on a more regular basis)


1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs - room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

96 Unwrapped Hershey Kisses


In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy.  Add the peanut butter and both sugars and mix on medium until color has lightened and it is smooth and fluffy.  Scrape the bowl and beater to ensure all the peanut butter is incorporated.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla extract and mix.  Add milk and mix.  Your batter will be light and creamy at this point.

In a large measuring cup, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk by hand until combined.  Add half of the dry goods to the wet mixture in the mixer bowl.  On very low, begin to mix, bring the speed up once you know there won't be a cloud of flour and then add the second half of the dry good...again slow to start, then raise the speed and beat until totally incorporated - scrape down the bowl ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM (voice of experience) to insure all the ingredients are together and smooth.

Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for 1 or 2 hours.  This will allow the butter to firm back up and make rolling the balls easier.

I used a small cookie scoop to ensure a uniform size to the cookies.  Scoop out your dough on one cookie sheet (covered with a baking mat for easy removal) and pop back into the fridge while you scoop the next tray.  Keeping this dough cold is pretty important.

Alternate out the trays and roll the first tray in balls and place that tray in the freezer until frozen.  Then remove the second tray from the fridge and roll them and place that tray in freezer.  Once all are frozen, place the frozen balls in gallon Ziploc bags and get out as much air as possible before zipping closed and placing in freezer.  Freeze until ready to use.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out however many balls you are going to bake and place on parchment lined or Silpat lined cookie sheet.  Allow to soften slightly at room temperature to the point where you can use a fork to score the cookie dough (took mine about 20 minutes).  I like to dip them in red and green sugars for Christmas.  You can do that by either dipping the top half of the ball of cookie in the sugar or dipping a fork in the sugar and make criss-cross marks on the cookie.  Don't press too far down if you want a puffy cookie.  (I know a lot of people don't score the blossoms - just the plain PB cookies - but I like that instant recognition that comes with the scores..."hey, PB Cookies!")  If needed, wipe the fork between every 3 or 4 cookies... sometimes it gets gummed up with dough and doesn't make clear marks.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes - just lightly browned so they will be soft and chewy.  As soon as they come out of the oven, place tray on a cooling rack and place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss in the center of the cookie, gently pushing down.

Or, of course, if you don't want the chocolate in the middle, just leave them as Peanut Butter Cookies!
After the cookies are cool enough to handle, use a spatula to move from cookie sheet to cooling rack to continue cooling all the way.  The chocolate will be soft, so don't squish them!  I like to eat them while the chocolate is still soft...and the cookie is warm.  My kids don't care - they'll take 'em however they can get them!

I'm happy to be checking off another item on my "to bake" list... I'm liking that I am getting ahead of the game this year.  Of course, I haven't decorated even a single surface of my home...but the baking prep is getting done! 
The tasting dozen!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies

In October I first laid eyes on the Nestle's Toll House Limited Edition Holiday Chocolate Morsels...and I instantly grabbed two bags.  Like so many other products, the size was now 10 ounces instead of 12 ounces.  I've been thinking about what I wanted to do with these ever since.  My family does love the Toll House cookies....but we like LOTS of chips in those cookies...and they have to be chewy, not crisp.  So, I elected to stick close to the original Toll House recipe but to  make it 1 1/2 times the amount listed on the bag and use both bags of chips.  They are red, green, and semi-sweet chocolate.

You might remember my insanity last Spring in searching for pastel colored morsels...finally ending up making my own.  Whew, that was labor intensive.  My heart jumped when I saw these this year.  They certainly were not in the Wal-mart last year (at least that I saw), so I'm thinking they must have read my blog (ROFL!!!) wherein I wondered why the heck no one was marketing colored baking chips?   I've seen the swirled chips before, and the mint chips - but never this particular package.

Here's the recipe I came up with (including my frequent addition of cinnamon to things with chocolate).

Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Nestle's Toll House Cookie Recipe
(click here for printable recipe)


3 1/2 cups unbleached AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt (I have found Kosher salt is not as good in these cookies - I end up with salty bites here and there)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) butter - softened
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs (room temperature)

2 ten-ounce packages Nestle's Holiday Morsels


In separate mixing bowl (or 5 cup measuring cup) combine the dry ingredients (flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon) - whisk to incorporate - set aside.

In bowl of a stand mixer, whip softened butter and both sugars until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition, and finally the vanilla extract.  Mix until combined thoroughly.  Scrape bowl.

Add the dry ingredients, mixer on low, about 1/3 of the amount per addition.  Scrape bowl between additions if needed.  Definitely scrape all the way to the bottom at the completion of this step.

Add the first package of morsels and mix a couple of rounds on low.  Remove the beater and hand mix the second package of morsels so they don't get broken up.  Use a very sturdy spoon to do this - I broke a large spatula with a plastic handle trying to mix this amount of dough.  Moved to an industrial size metal mixing spoon!  Now is the time to add pecans or walnuts if you like nuts in your cookies... we prefer nut-free except for my husband.  (I make him special ones from time to time)

I have scooped them all up with a medium-sized cookie scoop and have them freezing on a couple of trays.  I scooped out 63 cookie dough balls with this recipe.  Once they are frozen firmly, I will store them in Ziploc bags in the freezer for baking as Christmas time draws near.

I like to get ahead of the game, and when I do this, not a soul knows that I wasn't in the kitchen mixing up a batch of cookies that morning (well, except for you guys).  It really cuts down on the overwhelm that occurs that last week before December 25th!

When it is time to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, place cookies, directly from freezer bag, at least two inches apart on a parchment or Silpat covered baking sheet.  (no need for them to thaw - just pop them right in the oven)  Bake for 11 to 14 minutes and allow to cool on a rack before moving to serving tray. 

Obviously I had to bake off a few to ensure they were not poison.  I think they taste and look quite delicious!  This will be a colorful and tasty addition to your holiday platters of cookies!

I baked six and tasted one...yummy...and you-know-who will
be happy to be a taste tester as well... "ohhhh Ian...guess
what I have for youuuuu!"

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pumpkin Pie with Leaf Crust

I am NOT a pie baker.  I make a good cake, really good cookies, and usually can follow a recipe with a positive result.  However, pies (especially the crust) are simply not my forte.  Imagine my dismay when my youngest son (aka The Teen) requests nothing more for Thanksgiving Dinner than... a pumpkin pie.

Now, I CAN make the inside ingredients work's the crust that is the problem.  I just suck at rolled pie crust.  I think I overwork it.  I'm really pretty sure I overwork it.  I just avoid pie to avoid the problem.  If it doesn't have a graham cracker crust or something ain't happening in this house.

I begged to make a pumpkin cheesecake.  I made lovely sugar cookies filled with pumpkin pie spice.  I made chewy homemade chocolate chunk cookies.  No go.  He wanted a pie.

I admit to cheating.  I bought a Pillsbury refrigerated unroll-and-fill pie crust.  I used the Libby's canned pumpkin and followed their recipe exactly.  However, I did want to kick it up a bit to cover the fact that I cheated!  So, when in doubt - go to YouTube   I found a few videos that inspired me, so I made leaves from the second crust in the box.  About 26 leaves.

I cut them with a small leaf cutter and then used the back of a sharp knife to create "veins" in the leaves.  Placing them, overlapping, on the edge of the crust, gently pressing down to attach, they made a very attractive border.  Finished with a brushed on egg wash of beaten whole egg and water, which made for a nicely browned crust. (although they browned rapidly and I had to use a pie shield for the last half of baking).

I filled the crust and baked.

Half way through, I added a pumpkin cut-out somewhat unsuccessfully.  It would have been better to have baked it separately and then added it as final decoration.  It sank a bit and didn't brown up as well as the rest of the crust.

All in all, though, everyone said it was a good pie.  I feel a bit redeemed in the pie department.  Who knows what I will try next???  Hmmm, I'll probably go back to decorating cookies :-)

Bon Appetit, Y'all!StumbleUpon

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Turkey Cookies (a tutorial)

I have struggled with turkey cookies for years...just couldn't seem to "get it" because I'm not really an artist when it comes to drawing and painting on paper.  My drawings are rough and only used to guide me through the decorating process.  This year I must have looked at a hundred different examples from all over the Internet.  I even looked at photographs of real turkeys and turkey feathers (that just confused me even more).  I finally decided to "break it down".  First I did it on paper, using the cookie cutter for the outline...then I used a pencil (and used up an entire eraser) and I plotted the parts like I was doing plastic surgery!

Fortunately I only had 6 large turkey cookies baked...and nine minis.  I considered skipping the minis, but you can see from the photo above I pressed on.  Somehow this time it seems to have gelled for me.  If I'm unhappy with anything, it's that it seems like there should be a wing.  The core body looks bare.  Maybe next year I'll address that issue!

After preparing the royal icing (I'd prepped many colors because I had a total of 108 cookies to decorate).  For this particular project I used a lot of brown, small amounts of blue, orange, yellow, red, and white.  I primarily use squeeze bottles with a coupler that allow you to change decorating tips.  Sometimes I use piping bags too, especially with thick icing.  For this project, though, it was all bottle work.  All icing was roughly the same consistency.  Makes for an easier task!

I decided to start by drawing on my bare cookies.  Yes, draw.  I got out my little pack of Wilton Food Writer edible markers with fine tip...mostly just use them when I'm making turtle cookies.  I dot-outlined the areas I needed to pay attention to.  The body, the wattle, the beak, leaving room for the feet.  I wasn't really sure what those little feathery things to the left of the feet were (a photo showed them to be a series of white and gray feathers).  Maybe it was supposed to be the wing???

Then, I outlined and filled the body section on all of the large turkeys. I use a #2 tip for outline and filling - spreading out the fill with a toothpick until it touches the outline.  Then carefully hold the cookie with your fingers and give it a little shimmy shake to help everything even out.  I carefully placed, with craft tweezers, a black sugar ball in position for an eye while the first brown set was still very wet.  I pushed it in and it looked better than leaving it sitting on top of the icing.  It looked a little bug-eyed until I pushed down.

I set that rack over on the chair where I had a fan blowing.  This allowed that section to crust while I worked on other cookies.  You have to be careful - you can work on the next sections after crusting - but the icing is certainly not dry.  That takes many hours down here in humidity land.  Always at least over night.  Just let it get crusted.  You can "see" the difference - but don't touch it - you'll have an indentation - I promise (been there done that)!

Next I filled in the wattle on each turkey with red icing, taking care to leave room for the beak (as outlined in in the first step).  Using a #1.5 PME Supatube tip I completed all the wattles and then moved on to start on the tail and feathering.  Since you won't have fresh icing touching the red, you don't have to wait for it to crust...just be careful.  It was at this point I decided to leave the lower feathers unfilled.  You can see how I just outlined the tail section.  (Note - the brown icing ALWAYS darkens as it dries...this was the same bottle of icing!)

Since feathering is a wet-on-wet technique, you must move quickly before crusting begins on the tail section.  So, rapidly outline and flood brown on the tail, then pipe the 3 or 4 curved lines which will become your feathers, working on one bird at a time.

Taking a round toothpick, start at the top of the "tail" and drag the toothpick down through the wet icing.  Wipe the toothpick and move to the next feather, drag, wipe, repeat, circling around the tail...viola, you have tail feathers!  Set that tray of cookies aside and let the tail and wattle crust.

Next I decided to fill the lower feathers with brown and pipe three "sort of" horizontal white lines and, using the same feathering technique, pulled straight down to make the lower feathers.  Since the next section I worked wasn't touching anything that wasn't crusted,  I was able to go ahead and put a fine tip on my icing bottle (I used a #1 PME tip) and piped on some little feet and filled in the beak.

Ta da - that's all there was to it!  Just let them dry up overnight and they will be ready to package as a nice gift for your Thanksgiving guests to take home - or you could use some white icing to write names across the body and use them as placards for your Thanksgiving table...or, like my family is wont to do, grab them off the cookie plate...dig in and eat it!
Note how the browns all became the same color after the turkeys were dried!

The mini turkeys were much easier - I outlined and filled the entire body, leaving room for the wattle, beak, and feet.  I quickly feathered the tail and tweezed in a black sugar ball for the eye and set them aside to crust.  Next came the wattle...let it crust, then pipe in the feet and beak.  Easy peasy compared to the big birds!

These are fun and not too challenging once you break it down into "parts" and "steps".  I feel much better about my turkey-bility now that I've got this set under my belt!

Gobble, gobble!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!StumbleUpon

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Apple Butter Cookies

I wanted a different kind of "cut out" cookie for the holidays...something not gingerbread-like...but more than vanilla sugar cookie dough.  I found a huge selection of roll-out-and-cut dough recipes at Ann Clark Ltd.  I made the dough a couple of weeks ago and froze it.  Day before yesterday I took out all of the Apple Butter Cookie dough and 1/2 of the Cardamom Cookie dough and 1/3 of the regular sugar cookie dough I usually bake with, and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.  This week, I'm baking.

I rolled and cut 110 cookies...half of which were minis.  I have apple shapes, pumpkins, turkeys, acorns, and a few leaves.  That should do it for the Thanksgiving cookie baking!  My house smelled outstanding throughout the I'd already been baking pumpkin pies!  When I left for a while and then returned - the house smelled even better!  All those cookies sitting on cooling racks just infused the house with the smells of Autumn!
The Cardomom minis have a subtle spice taste

I went strictly by the recipe for the Cardamom Cookie dough as well as my usual Laurie Mather's World's Best Sugar Cookie dough.  You can check those links for the recipe.  What I'm sharing here is my favorite of the bunch - my new favorite cookie dough for Fall cookies.  It's mostly Ann Clark's recipe...with a few tweaks from me.  Here it is:

Apple Butter Cookie Dough
Adapted from Ann Clark, Ltd.


3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter (I used Musselman's)
1 egg yolk (room temperature)
1/2 Tbsp Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used King Arthur)
1 cup white whole wheat flour (I used Gold Medal)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder


Cream butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.

Beat in apple butter, egg yolk, and vanilla bean paste.

In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.  Add to wet mixture just until all ingredients are well blended.  Take care not to over mix.

Wrap in plastic wrap (I divided mine in quarters and formed into small rectangles for easier handling).

Chill for 4 hours or overnight before rolling out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll dough out on a lightly floured counter to 1/4 to 3/8 inch thickness.  Keep the dough moving, lift to ensure it is not sticking to the counter.  Sprinkle more flour if needed.  Make sure your rolling pin stays floured as well.  This was a sticky dough when it got warm - hence the easier handling with small portions.

Cut the rolled dough with well-floured cookie cutters.  Metal works best!  Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (I use the Silpat mats).  If my cookies were difficult to move, I floured my thinnest metal spatula and lifted gently to help transfer them.  I refrigerated each tray while another was baking so they wouldn't spread.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and rest in pan on cooling rack.  As soon as they are there, get out your trusty fondant smoother and gently glide it over every cookie.  This will remove any bubbles or plumped up areas - resulting in a nicely flat cookie.  Don't press, sort of like you are ironing something delicate.  Remove to rack to cool once cookies are cool enough to handle.  Allow to cool completely before decorating.

For the apple cookies I used my regular royal icing recipe but when I was mixing colors and bringing the uber stiff frosting to pipe and flood consistency, I used some apple cider instead of water to thin...and I added some cinnamon extract to complement the vanilla extract already in the icing.  It's barely a hint of difference, but I think it complements the cookies.

The decorating was a two day endeavor.  I made all the icing (3 batches) and colored them and let them rest (covered in plastic wrap - touching the icing).  When I returned from helping a neighbor with a computer task, I found the bubbles had all risen and were easily popped.  Filled all the bottles and a couple of piping bags and got to work.  Started about 6:00 p.m. and stopped at bed with cramping hands by midnight and up at 7:00 ready to start again.  Love Ibuprofen :-)

We are humid - we're always humid on the coast - but I used the fans and lowered the air conditioning to help with a good drying environment.  They did great.  The only thing that didn't do great was I tried to use a flood icing to pipe some detail on pumpkins and it ran together.  It was the last thing I did before going to bed last night so this morning - I had rather unattractive green blobs on my pumpkins - nicely hardened.  Drat.  Oh well.  I knew it was too loose and I didn't stop and fix it.  My bad!  Still, I think the cookies turned out well.

The apples, acorns, and large pumpkins were all made from the Apple Butter Sugar Cookie recipe.  All of the minis except for the orange pumpkins were made from the Cardamom recipe.  The large turkeys and the mini orange pumpkins were all vanilla sugar cookies.

Keep an eye out for a tutorial on putting together the turkey cookies.  Hope to have it up by Monday at the latest.
Turkey tutorial coming soon!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


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